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By Miriam Raftery

October 20, 2012 (Washington D.C) – H.R. 3409 has been called the worst environmental bill ever Congress by SustainableBusiness.com. Deceptively titled the “Stop the War on Coal Act”, the bill in fact repeal major public health and environmental safeguards, even overturning Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act protections. 

Duncan Hunter and Darrell  Issa, both Republicans, voted for the bill, Congresswoman Susan Davis, a Democrat, joined with Republican Brian Bilbray in voting no. Bob Filner did not vote.

The measure passed the Republican controlled House, but is expected to be blocked in the Senate. 

Ostensibly the bill claimed to save the coal mining industry. But in fact, it’s provisions were much broader.

“H.R. 3409 would eliminate controls on carbon pollution, undermine the Clean Air Act, block critical rules to clean up the dirtiest power plants, and weaken requirements for the safe disposal of coal ash,” said Congresswoman Davis.” It also includes provisions to overturn Clean Water Act protections and block the Department of the Interior from protecting streams from the harmful effects of coal mining.”

The San Diego Congresswoman, whose redrawn district includes much of East County, added, “This bill is another distraction from what Congress should be focusing on right now, which is creating jobs.”   

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